Five years ago, we embarked on a dream of helping fathers in
We chose to do a
program with young fathers who were addicted to drugs, not
in school, experiencing mental health issues, and living in
the 10 worst crime areas in Toledo, Ohio. This was an
awesome challenge and task and if that wasn’t enough,
we then decided to do a Randomized Control Trail (RCT) with
a one-year follow-up just to prove that the program worked.
Throughout the years of Brothers United, we struggled
initially trying to make it work. Our recruitment strategies
were unique, creative, and way out of the box. Our street
recruitment and building of the BU Nation brand was what it
was all about;
seed planting and waiting for the harvest.
Some of their initial strategies were to go to bus stops,
municipalities, local and federal courts and the local
malls. Later we went to strip clubs and simply hung out in
alley ways in an effort to “take it to the streets” just to
connect. We coined the term
BU is in dese streets! Anywhere a young
father hung out you would see BU.
Our staff worked hard to get the message out in the
community, but the greatest message was that from those whom
we served. Staff worked late nights and sacrificed so much
to extend themselves to serve Fathers in our community and
it showed. We Thank the staff of Pathway Inc. Brothers
United for all the days and nights of sacrifice to ensure
that Fathers were served.
It has not been easy to create partnerships in Lucas county
around the area and topic of Fatherhood. It seems that
fathers have been forgotten, put on the back burner, or only
seen as a paycheck. By creating partnerships and developing
synergy around this topic, Brothers United has been able to
develop the Brothers United Fatherhood Coalition.
The Brothers United Fatherhood Coalition consists
of community stakeholders who are committed to support,
strengthen, connect, and impact fathers in Lucas County. The
Coalition meets bi-monthly with the goal of strengthening
program efforts by referrals, resources, and advocacy. The
Coalition develops action steps, strategies, and follow up
plans to increase family engagement.
Pathway Inc. Department of Family and Supportive services
has also diversified its programming through the years
obtaining several grants:
*Brothers United Healthy Start, a grant from The Lucas
County Health Department that works directly with Healthy
Start to identify 100 Fathers a year to provide them with
education and Case Management support.
*Sister United, a grant received from Toledo Community
Foundation to provide services to young mothers 20-24 topics
including: Teaching your child(ren) self esteem, Learning
of the stages of children’s growth and Co-parenting.
*Managed Care -A two-year grant funded to work with Fathers
who are struggling with co parenting and child rearing. The
Managed Care staff facilitates Breast For Success, a program
designed to help men to understand breastfeeding and how
they can help their coparent and Safe Sleep.
*Skill up to Move up - Zepf Center has offered us a grant to
include Brothers United as we offer the two generational
The lessons learned, the pains and strains, the laughter and
tears, the sunshine and rain have all been worth it to
create this nation of fathers who are proud, who are better,
braver, wiser and stronger to lead their children to victory
and to develop a stronger community.
We are Brothers United!
We are BU Nation!
We are BU Strong!
Strong Fathers build Strong Families!
Pathway Inc. Brothers United Fatherhood Program believes
that children are important. Every day we support and
advocate for Fathers, because when children have involved
Fathers the whole community thrives.